Stephen Hawking called on humans to keep pushing for space exploration to save the species.

The famous theoretical physicist deliberated on the future of human race while delivering a lecture at the Oxford Union. He also assured that 2016 was a “glorious time to be alive,” and a great moment to research upon scientific subjects. Hawking explained how humans passed from being simple particles of nature to becoming rational organisms, able to seemingly understand some of the laws that shape the universe beyond any conception.

Professor Stephen Hawking
“Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 50 years and I am happy if I have made a small contribution,” stated 74-year-old Hawking. Image credit: NASA.

Humans must keep pushing forward

Hawking assured that it is a matter of time until millions of galaxies are fully mapped through the use of super-computers and that gravitational waves will allow researchers to go back millions of years and analyze the Big Bang.

Professor Hawking also confessed that he did not believe humans would survive another 1,000 years without living on another planet. Recently, he had suggested that newer technology has higher chances of committing mistakes, perhaps referring to the latest efforts led by Musk to reach Mars. According to the celebrated theoretical physicist, it is unlikely that Martian colonies are sustainable in less than 100 years.

But in essence, Hawking remained hopeful for the future, where he advised the audience at Oxford to “look up at the stars and not down” at their feet, to try and discover why the universe exists, no matter how difficult it may be to unearth the deepest secrets of time and space.

Hawking on Brexit and global warming

Back in July, Hawking also called on to Britain to reconsider its values due to its precarious exit from the European Union. He addressed that, although money is important because it empowers people and allows them to be freer, cutting government spending will diminish support for many people in precarious situations, such as disabled students, to which he drew the reference to himself.

Being an almost fully-disabled scientist, Hawking addressed that for him, money is no more than something that can allow him to work and that wealth would never provide him with the gratifications he seeks in life. He fears that the wealth that led the U.K. toward enabling Brexit could become dangerous, being a flag of isolationism.

Professor Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking in Zero Gravity NASA. Image credit: Wikimedia.

Last month, Hawking joined 374 other scientists to address an open letter directed toward Trump threatening the exit of the Paris Agreement. The concerned scientists from all over the world assured that the United States leaving the Paris Agreement would send a catastrophic image to the rest of the world, translating to the indifference of the United States toward human-made global warming.

They dubbed Trump’s threat as “Parexit,” which would end the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Agreement that was reached by 195 U.N. member nations at the Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. Although Trump has already changed his stance on many issues including Obamacare and the deportation of illegal immigrants, he has fiercely proposed that climate change is a hoax created by China to force the U.S. to curb its energy production.

The Paris Agreement would require that signing countries pledge to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2°C, but if possible, to try and limit the increase to 1.5°C. Signing governments are also committed to meet every five years to impose more ambitious targets and to issue regular reports that illustrate each countries’ performance.

What NASA expects about global warming

According to NASA, global warming will cause more hot days and fewer cold days. Droughts will be more common, and heat waves, storms, and floods will be more severe due to the alteration of rain cycles throughout the planet. Hurricane intensity is also expected to increase due to ocean waters becoming warmer.

All of these events will become worse due to rising sea levels, which will erode coasts and increase the frequency of coastal flooding, causing islands and coastal cities to disappear beneath the ocean. Even if most right-wing politicians in the U.S. deny the existence of global warming, it is a fact that sea levels have increased at a steadier rate of 3 millimeters per year, achieving a total of 48 millimeters or 1.89 inches between 1993.

Estimates suggest that sea levels will rise between 0.18 and 0.59 meters by 2099, equivalent to 0.59 to 1.9 feet, as sea water is expanding due to the melting of polar glaciers. But scientists do believe that these are underestimates since it does not take into account the melting of the world’s largest ice sheets, located in Greenland and the West Antarctic.

Even if most of the events caused by global warming are deemed as catastrophic, NASA scientists hypothesize that global food production could increase due to longer growing seasons for countries in mid-to-high latitudes, but this would be the opposite for countries in lower latitudes. Because human settlement has depended on climate conditions throughout its history. It is almost a certainty that people will be driven from their homes due to global warming.

Source: The Independent